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USING GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES TO DESIGN 21 ST CENTURY UNIVERSITY CURRICULA Hong Kong Institute of Education 9 February 2010 A/Prof Simon Barrie Institute for.

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Presentation on theme: "USING GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES TO DESIGN 21 ST CENTURY UNIVERSITY CURRICULA Hong Kong Institute of Education 9 February 2010 A/Prof Simon Barrie Institute for."— Presentation transcript:

1 USING GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES TO DESIGN 21 ST CENTURY UNIVERSITY CURRICULA Hong Kong Institute of Education 9 February 2010 A/Prof Simon Barrie Institute for Teaching and Learning

2 Graduate attributes Graduate attributes are an orientating statement of education outcomes used to inform curriculum design and engagement with teaching and learning experiences at a university (Barrie 2009). They are descriptions of the core abilities and values a university community agrees all its graduates should develop as a result of successfully completing their university studies (adapted from Bowden et al 2000).

3 However…. Meaningful curriculum renewal has proved elusive and in Australia there remains a 'national gap' between the rhetoric of generic attributes and the reality of the student learning experience.

4 Last time I was here we discussed three reasons Why…….. 1.As outcomes they are more complex than they seem 2. Universities activity systems arent supportive 3. Learners have been left behind This time I want to discuss…… How we might do this differently

5 1. Setting the right direction Ensure the university community understands the complexity and makes a relevant commitment Foundation: Generic skills – off-the shelf, non- specialised skills for university learning and work Translation: Explicit ways of doing and thinking, using and applying discipline knowledge… they are the discipline Enabling: Implicit dispositions attitudes & values, they grow from, but transcend the discipline

6 What do you want for your graduates? Write one attribute for each level One Enabling outcome: One Translation outcome: One Foundation skill (input):

7 Why keep these levels of outcome distinct in your mind and in your policy? 1.One sort of GA is an input not an output and if we look for value-add from university in that group, both staff and students will be disappointed. 2.Some sorts of GA can be explicitly taught and assessed at university but one type probably cant. 3.One type of GA is different in every discipline – the others might be more generic – but that still doesnt meant they are the same. 4.One sort you develop with stand alone skills courses taught by skills experts and there is no real change to the rest of the curriculum

8 Some other reasons….. 5.One sort would be developed if all university teachers adopted good teaching practices in their courses 6.Some types are not very appealing to some in the academic community 7.Some types are very appealing to bureaucrats and administrators – and some scare them

9 What commitment is required to achieve useful outcomes? They are not a shopping list to be ticked off and they are not somebody elses responsibility, it is a team effort. Foundation generic skills: Ensure coverage and recognise limits Translation graduate attributes: we may need to change the way we think about teaching the discipline. Enabling graduate attributes: we need to find ways to better engage students in the broader integrative learning experiences of university – and we may need to provide better integrative learning experiences

10 2. Moving from commitment to action All three are required: Foundation skills, Translation attributes, Enabling Attributes. How can we act on these commitments in relation to each type of graduate attribute.

11 Foundation Skills : Effective coverage, efficient learning recognise limits What do we agree all first year students need to know in order to learn effectively at university ……that they dont get taught at school? How might we do this? How can we ensure students learn this efficiently? Skills modules taught by experts, self-study modules, embedded FY assignments, work with 2# schools? Limits? Not enough on its own – inputs to GA not outputs - connect to subsequent learning and GA development

12 Translation graduate attributes: We may need to change the way we think about teaching the discipline. A lot is in place Move from content-based to outcomes-based curriculum Discipline is not defined by content alone but content + (disciplinary)graduate attribute Content in action Professional accreditation does this

13 Translation graduate attributes: teaching the discipline continued…… Different outcomes suggest different teaching, learning & assessment processes Active learning & active teaching Inquiry-learning, undergraduate research, work-integrated learning, case based learning, writing intensive courses, collaborative assignments etc. Different teaching and learning means different (aligned) assessment

14 Enabling graduate attributes: Better integrative learning experiences and better student engagement Integrative learning – Fostering students' abilities to intentionally integrate learning - over time, across courses, and between academic, personal, and community life (Huber & Hutchings)

15 Enabling graduate attributes: integrative learning continued…… Integrative learning experiences (adapted from Kuh) First-Year Seminars Study Groups Common Intellectual Experiences Learning Communities Research Experiencing Diversity Service & Community-Based Learning Internships Capstone Courses and Projects +Discipline learning that is like this

16 Enabling graduate attributes: integrative learning continued…… Engaging students in integrative learning Make time & space Value and recognise engagement Encourage rewarding require assess give credit integrate participate

17 Enabling graduate attributes: integrative learning continued…… Assessing integrative student learning We dont have to assess everything We dont always have to be the assessors Portfolios Self assessment Subsequent application embedded in discipline assessment or capstone assessment

18 Putting it all together: Tertiary Integrated Graduate Attributes (TIGA?) curriculum

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24 4: How do we engage the university community Collective and collaborative task initially - not an individual one Group is the broader university community not just the GA converts

25 Collaborative group task…… How do we encourage students to work in groups? What makes for effective student group work? How do we manage student group work?

26 University staff working together (!) Allow sufficient time Coordination and leadership Acknowledge different roles and contributions Effective internal team processes Effective internal communication Accountability for outputs Reward for effective processes

27 Encouraging staff engagement Lessons from students (Encourage, rewarding, require, assess, give credit, integrate, participate) Make time and make it manageable Make it intellectually rewarding and fun (intrinsic) Build on what is done and reward productive engagement (extrinsic) Participate – lead by example

28 Recognise engagement – Evaluation Teacher measures Course (discipline and integrative) audits of developments, teaching and assessment activities Mapping is of limited benefit for engagement on its own Audit could become inquiry What is done with the data after matters most Evidence of effective curriculum development for GA as a KPI? (teacher measures cross tab with student outcome measures)

29 Recognise engagement – Evaluation Indirect measures of outcomes - surveys and audits Average # times per semester academics meet with students outside class Frequency and quality of intellectual engagement with staff outside of class # and % of students reporting helpful teacher feedback on GA development # and % of students reporting participation in (integrative learning experiences) # and % of courses emphasizing multicultural learning experiences # and % of students involved in faculty research # and % of degrees requiring practicum, internship, service Frequency and quality of intellectual engagement with other students not studying your course Self ratings on development of GA Did the course / teaching / assessment help you develop these GA? Employer/Graduate/Peer perception surveys

30 Recognise engagement – Evaluation Direct measures of student outcomes - assessments and audits Course (discipline and integrative capstone) assignments, exams, projects Perhaps not standardised generic skills tests – Why not? Un-intended (unwanted and not insignificant) consequences….

31 31 Graduate Attributes led curriculum development 1.OBE policy and curriculum design should start with the recognition that these graduate outcomes are multilayered. 2.Multilayered outcomes require a multilayered curricula. (TIGA) 1.The broader university community needs to choose to be meaningfully engaged.

32 Thank you!

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34 What does this variation look like? Global Citizens Implicit disposition/stance: Graduates will aspire to contribute to society in a full and meaningful way through their roles as members of local, national and global communities they will respect multiple perspectives and recongise the potential limitations of their own world view Explicit disciplinary way of doing/thinking: Apply ecologically responsible engineering techniques to promote sustainability Foundation skill – Will be aware of cross cultural communication strategies

35 A Hong Kong example to reflect on To enable students to develop their capabilities in: 1.Pursuit of academic / professional excellence, critical intellectual enquiry and life-long learning 2.Tackling novel situations and ill-defined problems 3.Critical self-reflection, greater understanding of others, and upholding personal and professional ethics 4.Intercultural understanding and global citizenship 5.Communication and collaboration 6.Leadership and advocacy for the improvement of the human condition

36 In some more detail… Aim 4: Intercultural understanding and global citizenship Heighten awareness of own culture and other cultures Develop cultural sensitivity and interpersonal skills for engagement with people of diverse cultures Perform social responsibilities as a member of the global community Aim 6: Leadership and advocacy for the improvement of the human condition Play a leading role in improving the well-being of fellow citizens and humankind Uphold the core values of a democratic society: human rights, justice, equality and freedom of speech Participate actively in promoting the local and global social, economic and environmental sustainability

37 And one more….. 1.Have up-to-date and in-depth knowledge of an academic specialty, as well as a broad range of general knowledge; 2.Have bilingual communicative competence in English and Chinese (including Putonghua); 3.Be able to think logically, critically and creatively; 4.Have the necessary numerical skills to function effectively in work and everyday life; 5.Be an independent and self-directed learner, motivated by an inquiring spirit; 6.Be well-developed as a whole person – intellectually, morally, spiritually, culturally, socially and physically; 7.Be a responsible citizen with an international outlook, and willing to serve and lead.

38 38 Scholarship: An attitude or stance towards knowledge Graduates of the University will have a scholarly attitude to knowledge and understanding. As Scholars, the Universitys graduates will be leaders in the production, application and communication of new knowledge and understanding through inquiry, critique and synthesis.

39 Research and Inquiry: Graduates of the University will be able to create new knowledge & understanding through the process of research & inquiry be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them be able to exercise critical judgement and critical thinking in creating new understanding be creative and imaginative thinkers have an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards, values and boundaries of their discipline and the capacity to question these be able to critically evaluate existing understandings and recognise the limitations of their own knowledge

40 Research and Inquiry at the Conservatorium of Music: be able to identify, define and analyse problems in written work, composition, teaching and performance and identify or create processes to solve them be able to exercise critical judgement and critical thinking in creating new understandings in relation to music analysis, music composition, music education, music history, music technology, and music performance be creative, imaginative and independent thinkers in their musical endeavours have an informed respect for the principles, standards, values and boundaries of current music knowledge, pedagogy and performance practice. be able to question critically and to evaluate current music knowledge and compositional, pedagogical and performance practices, acknowledging global and historical diversity and recognising the limitations of their own knowledge

41 Sydney Model of Graduate Attributes

42 And one final local example…

43 Varied development strategies Multilayered teaching & learning strategies 1.Foundation skills - co curriculum 2.(multi)Discipline learning - curriculum 3.A learning community - extra curriculum

44 What might that look like at a Hong Kong University? Curriculum Renewal: PolyU elements 1.General University requirements, bridging courses 2.Strong professional curriculum, multidisciplinary studies, student centred pedagogies 3.Electives, freshman seminar, extra(co)- curricula activities……and what else? Curriculum Challenges: Align and integrate elements as a holistic curriculum ….Charting a learning pathway….creating a university community

45 Meaningful engagement by staff in curriculum renewal How might we engage the university community in thinking and talking about these complex outcomes and complex development processes…. in a more complex way. Why is meaningful engagement in curriculum renewal so hard to achieve?

46 A way of thinking about generic attributes curriculum renewal in (institutional) context 1.Conceptualisation 2.Stakeholders 3.Implementation 4.Curriculum 5.Assessment 6.Staff Development 7.Quality Assurance 8.Student Centred

47 Curriculum Curriculum structure & organisation can be limiting Rather than a linear sequence of isolated content blocks need a whole degree approach – the Hong Kong 4 year structure delivers this 1. Curriculum as the lived experience of students learning across/around the whole degree 1. Include new elements (co/extra curriculum) PD theme, skills courses, WIL, internships, Freshman seminars) 2. Change and diversify the existing learning experiences (inquiry learning, CBL, GA focused teaching and assessment)

48 Change and diversify the existing learning experiences High impact educational practices (Kuh, 2008) First-Year Seminars and Experiences Common Intellectual Experiences Learning Communities Writing-Intensive Courses Collaborative Assignments and Projects Undergraduate Research Experiencing Diversity/Global Learning Service Learning, Community-Based Learning Internships Capstone Courses and Projects

49 Defining curriculum qualities With your neighbor…..what are 3 things that might characterise a students learning experience at university if we wanted to foster the development of generic attributes like: global outlook, professional competence, leadership

50 A Sydney example….. To foster the generic attribute of scholarship …… the Sydney curriculum (student learning experience) should be characterized by active, inquiry based learning – learning in a research like way With your neighbor…..what are 3 things that might characterise a students learning experience at university if we wanted to foster the development of generic attributes like: global outlook, professional competence, leadership Please be ready to share some of your ideas with the group in 5 minutes……. s

51 What are the defining features of some local university curricula? Broad based curriculum Strong fundamentals in professional education Multidisciplinary Flexible admissions Flexible curriculum design Articulation with NSS curriculum Freshman Year experience Integrated learning Enhanced communication skills Active learning Global learning experience Work Integrated Education Capstone Experience OBE

52 What are the defining features of some local university curricula? The following distinctive features will characterise the new curriculum: (inter)disciplinary inquiry multidisciplinary collaboration poly-contextual inquiry diverse learning experiences multiple forms of learning and assessment engagement with local and global communities development of civic and moral values.

53 Engaging staff A curriculum model is not enough when… Quality Assurance does not support or inform engaged curriculum enhancement Staff development does not support or encourage staff to engage intellectually in curriculum renewal Other stakeholders are marginalised Implementation is not planned, resourced and stratified (complex outcomes multi-layered strategy) Underlying conceptualisations remain unaddressed in policy or practice

54 Quality Assurance Quality Assurance strategies which do not support engaged curriculum enhancement include: 1.QA measures are teacher focused 2.Curriculum mapping is used on its own 3.Rewards are based on indicators that are unrelated to intellectual engagement in curriculum renewal 4.Measures privilege a focus on only some GA Challenge: Evidence of actual student learning is often missing (assessment)

55 A local insight on QA – evidence of student learning……. The range of learning activities that comprise the student experience: students learning does not take place only through their academic program. In the areas of personal development, citizenship, cross-cultural sensitivity and so on, campus life and the co-curriculum are significant contributors to students development. The range of sites where learning occurs: while students departments are the obvious location for an effort to evaluated overall achievement of graduateness, Schools, other departments, the Language Center, the Library, SAO, residential halls, and others all contribute to activities relevant to the achievement of desired outcomes. The range of the potential sources of evidence for the achievement of outcomes, including: assessments embedded in courses; sample data of students achievement of generic outcomes in standardized tests; and students self-report of the achievement of outcomes through questionnaires, focus groups. (HKUST)

56 Achieving student engagement for graduate attributes Involve students as partners in the conversations about the learning potential of university early on. Provide engaging teaching learning and assessment experiences that make these conversations real and help students come to understand what university learning can be. Encourage students to create learning opportunities for themselves


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